Smithville announces first staff cut in 80-year history, lays off 45 workers

In 80 years of growing into Indiana's largest telecommunications company, Smithville Telephone Company never had to reduce its workforce. That's coming to an end now as the company's focus on new fiber-based services is about to cost 45 full-time workers their jobs, the carrier said in a press release.

"Significant consumer market changes and expected changes in federal regulatory issues have led Smithville to realize that it must strategically change before market dynamics force uncontrolled change," said Darby McCarty, chairman and CEO of the 23,000-customer telco that serves central and southern Indiana.

Part of that change will be a refocus on becoming the state's fastest broadband provider with an offering that includes IPTV, information data and video technology services, voice, local video content and "other communication technology and content," the press release said.

Smithville at present offers a range of high-speed services that include 1 GB residential broadband and 10 GB for large businesses and enterprises. The company, the press release said, is "committed to ultimately replacing all of its remaining twisted-pair copper-based customers with fiber optics."

"Our service products have expanded to the point where Smithville truly represents a technology delivery and communications services enterprise," McCarty said, adding that "the day is long past where we were 'just' a telephone company."

The days are also past where Smithville was a company without a layoff.

"Smithville has never experienced a workforce reduction in its history, but we have also never seen the depth of market changes that we're experiencing in the business markets and in governmental policy and regulations," she continued. "The company also has seen how advances in customer service and other technology have made some functions and positions redundant or unnecessary."

For more:
- Smithville issued this press release

Related articles:
How service-assured IPTV is helping local telcos reclaim competitive advantage
Indiana telco picks Calix as partner in 'Fiber Forward' build
Frontier reorganizes Central Region to serve 6 Midwest states

Suggested Articles

With the hurricane season looming large starting next month, Verizon is taking extra steps to keep its business and residential customers connected.

Telefónica's cybersecurity company, ElevenPaths, announced on Tuesday that it has achieved Amazon Web Services Security Competency status.

In the most recent earnings calls, some telecommunications executives expressed their concern over how the COVID-19 crisis was impacting SMBs.